Date Of Visit: April 22, 2017
Location: 8 Island Rd, Essex, MA (about half an hour north of Boston)
Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset
Parking: Parking is very limited. There is not a parking lot for this reserve. Parking is allowed on the grass at the side of the street
Size/Trail Difficulty/Time to Spend: 3/4 mile loop, easy trail with a moderate incline, your visit should last half an hour to an hour at the most
Handicapped Accessible: No, the trails are too steep in some parts
Dog Friendly: Yes
Highlights: stone structure, popular birding destination, scenic views of the water, pretty trees
Website: Starvos Reservation
What better way to celebrate Earth Day then a visit to Stavros Reserve in Essex, MA?
It was a windy and raw day, more like a fall or winter day than a spring day. But, such is the weather for New England. I just considered myself lucky that it wasn’t snowing. This is New England after all.
Stavros Reserve is easy enough to find. Parking, however, is a different story. After driving past the reserve in the hopes of finding a parking area, I turned around and settled on a parking spot on the grass by the side of the road. Several cars (5-10) could probably squeeze in this parking area before the side of the road narrows to accommodate the traffic on Island Rd.
At first glance, Stavros Reserve doesn’t seem like much. The moderately steep roughly quarter of a mile incline features some scenic views, pretty trees
and this creepy looking tree that reminded me of the trees from the Wizard Of Oz.
Once you reach the end of the trail, you’ll see a stone structure that was once a fieldstone base of a 50-foot, three-level tower built by Lamont G. Burnham in the 1880s.
The top of the trail at the reservation has some eye catching views.
Inscribed on the marker under the tree is:
“This land is a memorial to
James Niclis Stavros
For the enjoyment of all who find
Renewal of spirit in nature
Mary F. Stavros
May 17, 1986”
As an aside, I fell in love with Essex while I was there. Antique shops and well manicured colonial style homes line the main streets. It’s an old New England town, incorporated as a town in Massachusetts in 1819, that has kept its charm.
The birds, seagulls specifically, were acting strangely while I was there.
That was enough for me. I saw a flock of seagulls. So I ran. (only people over 40 might get that one)
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